Picture used for representational purpose only
BHOPAL: For the state Congress, Damoh victory is being seen as a message from the electorate – first, that they do not approve of turn-coats and opportunist MLAs and second, the people are angry with the government’s mismanagement of the Corona crisis. The constituency rejected Rahul Lodhi, who they had elected on Congress in the 2018 elections with a margin of 700 votes against former finance minister Jayant Malaiya.
Rahul Lodhi resigned from the state assembly and left Congress in November last year to join ruling BJP. He was rewarded by the BJP government with the position of chairman MP Warehousing and Logistics in January this year. In the April 17 by-poll necessitated by Lodhi’s resignation, he was now candidate for the BJP.
Top party leaders like Uma Bharati, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union minister Prahlad Singh Patel, state BJP chief VD Sharma campaigned for him. Two senior ministers Gopal Bhargava and Bhupendra Singh were in-charge of the poll management.
On the contrary, Congress gave its ticket to a senior and elderly former district party president Ajay Tandon who had never won an election before. He was given candidature by the Congress thrice against Jayant Malaiya, but lost each time.
On Sunday, Ajay Tandon won Damoh bypoll with an impressive margin of 17,089 votes. Former chief minister Kamal Nath tweeted, “At last, truth has won. With the result of Damoh bypoll, the countdown of the BJP has started in the state. People have learnt a tough lesson from the BJP’s policy and thought of prioritizing elections more than human beings.”
State Congress media cell vice-president Bhupendra Gupta explained, “For the party, victory in Damoh is a big boost. This result is directly associated with the Corona crisis in the state and the BJP’s strategy of purchasing and poaching of MLAs from rival parties. This is the first election conducted during the second wave of Corona. Congress party lost two of its prominent leaders to the virus infection, Mahila Congress president Mandvi Chouhan and former minister Brijendra Singh Rathod, who were campaigning for the party and working for the bypoll to Corona.”
Gupta claimed that Damoh is a message from the people of the state. “The people have understood that for BJP nothing is bigger than winning elections and being in power at any cost, even if it means the lives of the people. People are not ready to accept misgovernance any longer and neither will they elect opportunist legislators who do not respect their mandate. Damoh is a message for the Congress as well. We have to prepare ourselves for the next elections.”